How do you deal with disappointment?

Well I faced disappointment this week. I was headed to Portland to run the Deschutes, the river where I used to work as a whitewater guide in my ‘glory days’ (heehee)  in Oregon.

I was so excited to get out on the water again and the thrill of the water and the sun has been calling me in a way that you hike a mountain and have a deep unquenchable thirst. ….And then the fires happened.

As I spoke with my friends up in Portland and Vancouver, they told me the fires were only 7% contained, outdoor events were being canceled due to air quality and just being outside for a long time was giving them headaches. My heart was crushed, but also the worry for my peeps there – (stay safe and be well folks).  The right thing to do was to cancel.

So disappointed – And then I thought, ‘how do I deal with disappointment?’

Sometimes by taking a step back from the situation, we can find new perspectives. And so I thought about the times that I faced disappointment, the things I had lost, the activities I loved, the people that moved on. And I got more disappointed. ….Hmm – this was supposed to be helping…Lol

But part of it is just life. Sometimes things don’t work out – sometimes the wind changes direction. We can’t always predict what’s around the corner.

So I closed my eyes and imagined a conference room – (this comes from a Hypnosis process) – and I invited in the parts of me that felt they had lost something.

  • The Poet Holly
  • The Artist Holly
  • The Backpacker Holly
  • The Whitewaterguide Holly
  • The Portland Holly
  • The Girlfriend Holly

And as I thought about it, leaving things behind –has actually been making room for what I REALLY want in a bigger way, sometimes that’s even more fulfilling.  Sometimes I didn’t even know that what I wanted was right around the corner and in a different package.

Running the amazing Oregon rivers everyday during the summers sounds like a dream job –right? Well it was for a time. I loved the whitewater – everyone was always happy, my bucket of adventure was overflowing but it was almost as if I was getting bored of fun. I noticed a hollowness in it, an emptiness in it. Almost as if fun wasn’t enough.

So even before I made the change – I felt a longing to make a difference in people’s lives in a deeper way.  The changes that life brings – can bring you more – if you allow yourself to flow with it.

And for the things left behind, I can still pick them up if I want.

  • I can still make time for Poetry and Art – the deeper value of it allows me to express creativity and feel the ‘flow’ – and there are many ways I bring creativity to my life and business.
  • The backpacker Holly loves the outdoors.  I used to sleep outdoors for a living. When life changed and I went back to school, I just didn’t make time for it.
  • The Whitewater guide Holly loves the adventure – having fun and new places to see.  I just need to schedule it.
  • And breaking up with my ex.  A part of me loved being in a relationship, but also there were ways that over time we no longer fit each other. So allowing each of us to move on allows us to find the better fit. I remember a great quote about divorce, “It’s better to make 4 people happy, rather than 2 people miserable.” Sometimes we forget that because we are looking back – rather than looking forward.

And so I can see that the places I have let things go – I’ve also been paving the way for what I wanted in a deeper way or more expansive way.

Life is working for me – Life is working for you.

Yes there are disappointments along the ride of life.  To stay focused on disappointment is like getting mad at the waiter that takes away your half eaten salad when he is bringing you the main dish.

What’s on your plate right now? Hmmm….and what will you have for dessert?

When life brings disappointment – plan for dessert. (Healthy dessert of course – like coconut milk ice cream, strawberries and peaches).

And if there are things that you feel you’ve left behind – just make time for them. I can rekindle the poetry and the art. (Fairy jar craft night was a lot of fun). And I can make time for myself to get back into the mountains and enjoy the wild places.  And I can allow life to show up for me in a better way.

Don’t get stuck on the salad – when the main course is coming.

So I imagined all the ‘Selvies’ in my conference room and imagined giving them full plates of what I have now and the promise of desert that’s coming.  And I felt super satisfied….even my organs smiled.

You might imagine that metaphor for your inner selves. What does it feel like if the parts of you that felt they were missing something got more of what they really wanted?

So Portland, I shan’t be coming up this fall – but I’m already making plans for next year. Wouldn’t it be fun to do a tour of Oregon rivers? I love the Umpqua – and the Deschutes are my favorite. And it would be fantastic to see the Rogue and White Salmon.

Stay safe out there. …Be Well …and have a great weekend!

Post in the comments your story of a time that you were disappointed, but then life showed up in a more fulfilling or more complete way for you…..